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Buying a horse property might be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make -
Understanding why horses behave they way they do is the key to having a better relationship with your horse. For their sake and yours, don’t make assumptions about horse behaviour, get the facts.
I wish this book had been out when I bought my first horse property, it would have saved me a lot of anguish. I love the check list and I am using it as we look for our next property. Vicky, Texas, USA
This book has brought up so many points that I just would not have thought about if I had not read it. Thanks a million! Bob, Nottingham, UK
So many great pictures and such a straightforward way of explaining how to work out what is important, and what is not. Kirsty, Geelong, Australia
This book covers all of the important things about horse behaviour and the information comes from correct scientific sources. Mel, Brisbane, Australia
I now have a far better understanding of my horse whereas before I used to think my horse was behaving a certain way on purpose. Sarah, Devon, UK
Fun to read, great pictures, thanks Jane for making this subject so easy to understand. Pip, NZ
Feb 2017 to May 2017
June 2017 to Oct 2017
Stuart and Jane -
Oct 2017 to Dec 2017
The Workshops and Clinics page of our Equiculture website is a good place to find out what we are doing and when.
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Learn how to improve your balance so that you feel more secure when riding. This book is the second in this series and it shows you how to increase your balance. It contains 18 lessons for you to follow in your own time.
Learn how to improve your own position so that you ride to the best of your ability. This book is a step by step guide to correcting your own position so that you ride as straight as possible. Your horse will thank you for it!
What a simple way to improve balance, I now teach this method to all of my students, from beginners to advanced. Fiona, Toronto, Canada
I am now much closer to achieving a truly ‘independent seat’. Feeling secure and confident. Bring on the next book! Megan, Cambridge, UK
This book is very easy to follow and has saved me money. My own instructor is great but she does not cover these fundamental basics. Thank you Jane for making it so easy to improve my riding, Jan. Kent, UK
The best book I have ever come across on this so important subject. Easy to read and easy to implement. Jan, South Australia
This book sorted out my problem with ‘wonky’ ankles and I can now ride pain free. Megan, Cambridge, UK
Where have you been all my life Jane? This book should have been written years ago! I would say this book is essential reading for riders and riding coaches alike. Linda, Melbourne, Australia
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Your centre of gravity
Approximately 550 words article
This short article is about why you need to get in touch with your inner CoG (centre of gravity)! Both yourself and your horse have what is called a centre of gravity (CoG). The CoG of an average human is around their navel. This means that if you were made of cardboard and someone stuck a pin in you at that point they would be able to spin you around easily! (picture below).
It is the centre of your weight mass if you like. Your CoG differs slightly depending on your body type, so a typically shaped female with hips wider than her shoulders will naturally have a low CoG (unless she is large chested and then she is slightly disadvantaged), whereas a typically shaped male with shoulders wider than his hips will naturally have a higher CoG.
Your horse’s CoG is underneath where you sit (picture below). It used to be thought that the CoG of horse was lower and further forward than it actually is. The picture shows a more accurate approximation of a horse’s CoG. Again, a horse’s CoG differs depending on their conformation, so a Quarter Horse that is typically lower in the wither (‘built downhill’) will naturally have a CoG that is slightly forward of this point and a dressage bred Warmblood that is typically higher in the wither (‘built uphill’) will naturally have a CoG that is slightly further back.
Training will alter the CoG of a horse to some extent if that training changes the horse’s balance. So a horse that starts out ‘downhill’ (with a CoG that is forward) will end up more ‘uphill’ (with a CoG that is further back) with good dressage training.
Good rider training teaches the rider to keep their CoG low and as close to the CoG of their horse as possible.
By learning to sit in the correct part of the saddle -
It may help to think about how it feels to sit at the back of a bus (well away from the CoG of the vehicle), how much bouncier it is than if you sit in the middle of the vehicle (between the wheels).
So next time you ride your horse think about where most of your weight is situated. Are you sitting upright and balanced, with your head above your torso, your torso above your hips and with your ankles directly below your hips? (picture below). In which case you are sitting in a balanced position. Or are you leaning backwards or forwards? In which case you are not correctly balanced and you are making yourself more difficult for your horse to carry. Unfortunately you cannot always tell by feel alone whether you are sitting upright so ask an assistant or your instructor to tell you what they see.
Horse Rider's Mechanic Workbook 1: Your Position and Horse Rider's Mechanic Workbook 2: Your Balance cover these interrelated subjects in detail. Start reading these books now (for free) by clicking the titles above.
We hope this article has been useful to you. If you think it could be added to or improved please let us know (contact us).
You can read a substantial amount of each of the Horse Rider’s Mechanic Workbooks for free right here on this website…